Hello again from York!
I've really enjoyed catching up with everyone's news - good idea to have a reunion Paul!
Antonio and I were the first bloggers, back in June and July 2006 when World Cup fever gripped even (especially?) people like me who know nothing about any sport. Italy (Antonio's national team) were the overall winners and, on that great day, Antonio wrote his entire post in blue. Last year, England didn't even qualify for Euro 2008, so I will definitely be supporting Italy in the European Cup. Go the Azzurri ! In bocca al lupo - for a translation, check Antonio's blog:
(Thursday July 6, 2006)
Also.......many congratulations on your FCE result, Antonio, and your graduation. What subject are you thinking of for your next degree?
I work at a university in the UK and all the staff are encouraged to do research. Last year I used our blog to think about if (and how) online language learning is effective. I looked closely at the way Antonio and I interacted in the blog and at Antonio's responses to my language suggestions. It was very clear that Antonio's writing DID develop during the six week blogging period. This may have been because he was writing regularly, or perhaps because of my feedback, or perhaps he was doing other things to improve his English......who knows?! Anyway, it is possible that regular writing practice and regular feedback do help students make progress - and that online writing/feedback can be as effective as face-to-face.
I gave a presentation on my blogging research at a conference for English language teachers last year. Paul was there with the BBC Learning English team! After the presentation, a member of the audience suggested that I should look at the effect of the feedback on the people who write the COMMENTS in the blog. That would be interesting!
Here's a picture of me, at York St John University, standing in the quad (the photo of my face in the banner at the top of this page is from here.....)
And here is a view of the quad (short for quadrangle: the square or rectangular space surrounded by buildings, the traditional centre of a university campus) from my room in the university....
To finish with, here's my paragraph about my blogging research findings again. Because it is difficult to be completely sure they are correct, researchers often explain their findings using 'hedging' language (in bold):
This may have been because he was writing regularly, or perhaps because of my feedback, or perhaps he was doing other things to improve his English......who knows?! Anyway, it is possible that regular writing practice and regular feedback do help students make progress - and that online writing/feedback may be as effective as face-to-face.
See you again soon!
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